Back in the day, you didn’t have to do much to become scandalous. Books were banned all the time! Right now you can write about most anything including sex, talking pigs, planets inhabited by weird aliens and so on, and so forth. Many of the world’s most famous books were banned for the weirdest reasons, yet now we all have the opportunity to read them as many times as we want to. Here are 10 banned books you should definitely read today. And who knows, maybe they were banned for a reason?
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
This anti-utopian tale describes a world that’s become too dependent on artificial comfort. While some of the ideas in the book might be seen as a bit radical, Ireland ended up banning it for anti-religious comments and going against the traditional family system. India didn’t like the topic of recreational sex that was a pretty okay thing in the book.
The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
The author of the book seems to have committed a religious crime because not only was his book banned, but he himself received a death warrant! He had to go into hiding for 10 years just to publish it and the Muslim world still despises him for that.
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
The book’s slightly erotic passages are really nothing for us to worry about, yet this was not the case back in the day when critics had made a huge fuss about the young girl and her seducer. In reality, the book is more about the 20th century America values loaded with satire and irony. This didn’t stop Britain from banning the book!
Ulysses, James Joyce
The one and only masturbation reference in this book goes completely unnoticed by the majority of people. The book itself is so heavily written that it’s hard to grasp at least a small notion of the plot. Yet critics have done their homework, so the book was banned in the US and Britain back in the 30s.
Animal Farm, George Orwell
What is it with bans and anti-utopias? Maybe this happens because there’s some truth hidden inside those books? Orwell has described the brutalities of communism in a highly satirical way and paid for it – the book got banned in North Korea and Cuba. Surprise!
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
What is now read by kids all over the world wasn’t accepted as lightly back in the day. While part of critics see it as a stunning depiction of the drawbacks of a teenager’s life, others believe it has caused suicides and inspired dozens of murders. Nevertheless, it’s one of the greatest books ever written!
American Psycho, Brett Easton Ellis
Although the book is largely treated as satire, the gore level is too high for it to go unnoticed. Many countries have banned the book, while others put an age restriction on it. The violence was just too much!
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinback
Who could have thought that the depiction of a Depression-Era America could become a source of a ban? Nevertheless, this is exactly what happened to Steinbeck’s novel, thus proving that everything he’s described was true. It’s the highest praise possible!
The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall
Radclyffe Hall came up with a lesbian romance, need we say more? The early 20th century folk were not ready to read about such relationships, and frankly speaking not much has changed since then. There were no erotic scenes in the novel, so the whole ban seems kind of ridiculous.
All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
The true-to-life description of the horrors of warfare is exactly what made this book disliked by so many people back in the 30s. There was too much truth in it, so Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpiece was burned more than once along with geniuses like Kafka, Thomas Mann and Albert Einstein.